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Marketing as a tool to improve the world
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Wikipedia defines marketing as “a business strategy for optimizing profits by adapting the production and supply of goods or services to the needs and preferences of consumers.”

A fair definition, but it is far from defining marketing in all its practical and theoretical complexity.

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In recent years, some authors have also saved efforts to define marketing in a more direct way. Kotler for example, defined marketing as “a social process by which groups and individuals have needs and desires by creating the offering and exchanging products and services of value with others.”

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A poetic but somewhat abstract definition.

After reading hundreds of books on the subject and being totally absorbed in this universe in recent years, I came to the conclusion that marketing cannot be understood (at least not completely) as a “process”.

My definition of marketing is:

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“Marketing is helping people solve their problems. It is the act of promoting a product or service that benefits a select group of people who care about what you are offering, being compensated for it in the form of profit and/or recognition.”

What is the use of marketing?

In an imaginary and utopian world, people would never need to worry about marketing. Companies would produce their products and offer their services organically, people in need would buy and everything would come down to a simple and transparent transaction, where good companies would remain in the market and bad ones would disappear.

But we don't live in this world.

We live in a world overflowing with information, options and subliminal messages. In this world, the role of marketing is precisely to expose services and products that can solve the problems of specific people, in even more unique situations.

Yes, marketing often involves persuasive communication and a certain level of aggressiveness towards competitors but this is a negative consequence of a positive system – yes, I'm talking about capitalism.

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Only those who understand capitalism can understand the importance of marketing

Everyone has that more alternative friend who considers capitalism to be the source of all evil. This type of person fails to understand that despite its negative points, capitalism is the freest model of social organization we know to date.

This friend will never understand why marketing is important since he believes that it is the result of ambition encouraged by capitalism – as if in communist/authoritarian societies governments did not invest millions of dollars in marketing to “educate” the population.

This ideological bias simply “blinds” the person to the following facts:

The. The law of supply and demand was not created by men. This is behavior justified by evolutionary biology (this is the time to close the text if you don't believe in evolution);

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B. where there is an imbalance between supply and demand there is a need for choice on the part of the individual;

w. our choices are ALWAYS influenced by our social and historical context;

d. the only way to influence certain choices is by modifying the context in which they are inserted;

It is. In a society shaped by the consumption not only of physical goods but also of services and ideas, marketing is the most effective tool for changing people's context.

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In other words, if you want to change people's behavior for the better, you need to influence their choices. To influence your choices, you need to modify your context.

And what is the best way to influence people's context if not by exposing your ideas and products through marketing?

I'm not being innocent here when I say that everyone who knows and benefits from marketing is aware of it. Quite the contrary, from what I observe, the people who earn the most money and recognition from marketing are those with the worst possible intentions.

But just because most Brazilian politicians are corrupt means that ALL Brazilian politicians are. Or rather, it doesn't mean that if you enter politics you must be corrupt.

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If a person enters the museum and starts destroying a work of art with a hammer, it's not the hammer's fault. The fault lies with the person who used the hammer (which is a tool that can build or destroy) for a bad purpose.

We are talking about an extremely complex science that involves everything from social psychology to economics, data science and biology. At the end of the day, marketing is just another tool that can be used for good or bad.

I choose to use it as a tool to improve the world, what about you?

For more content like this, visit the Insights portal.

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